Avoiding the January ‘fad diet’ trap

I’m back! A lot’s changed for me over the past few months: I finally finished my Masters (yippee!), moved to London and started an amazing job as a showbiz writer.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is my anger towards the ‘diet industry’. After seeing this quoted tweet from Alice Liveing (@aliceliveing_), to put it politely, I was absolutely fuming.

If you’re a ‘normal’ person looking at this diet plan, you’ll probably be pissing yourself laughing. ‘Water loss capsules? Weight loss shakes? You’d have to be an idiot to fall for that rubbish.’ However, if you suffer from poor body image, you more than likely will fall for it – like I did.

I’ve banged on about my experience with Protein World time and time again on this blog (if you missed that post, read it here), but I also tried other faddy, meal replacement diets and pills too. I knew nothing about nutrition and hated the way I looked: as the old saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures, and I would try literally anything to lose weight

If you don’t suffer with your self confidence and poor body image, you simply won’t understand how someone could be driven to spending their hard-earned cash on a load of shite like the plan detailed above. But to people like me, it’s just a given. Trawling the web for diet plans and ‘cheat’ ways to shift the pounds took up all my time, severely affecting my mental health and putting my poor old body into starvation mode.

It is disgusting that the diet industry, with its skinny pills and ‘healthy’ shakes, is allowed to exist. It’s disgusting that they prey on people’s vulnerabilities. I like to think that I’m a strong person, but when I wanted to change my body and didn’t have the knowledge to understand how to do so safely, I fell victim to the companies who made money out of my insecurities.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to try and help others who had fallen into this trap. I wanted to warn people about the dangers of meal replacements, even when they’re cleverly marketed as being ‘healthy’, and (surgically-enhanced) celebs promote them. The best advice I can give is to be as comfortable as you can in your own body, but if you’re not, make a change safely and healthily. Do not slash your calories to 900 a day, or over exercise when you feel ‘guilty’ about having a biscuit. If you’re looking for some Instagram inspo, follow accounts that promote a balanced, healthy lifestyle (my recommendations include @thefoodmedic, @gracefituk and any of the @thegirlgains ladies – these gals are all smashing it).

January’s a tough one when a highly manipulative industry is trying to shove ‘healthy’ products down your throat every two minutes. But your ‘new year, new me’ promise shouldn’t compromise your physical and mental health, so just think twice about what you buy into.

I hope this helped someone, somewhere! I’d love to know your thoughts on this post, so feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading,
Soph x


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